Stephen Dartt has been on a cycling journey since late June, travelling from Abbotsford, B.C., to Montreal to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and for cancer research. But this week he hit an unexpected speed bump in Sault Ste. Marie.
On Wednesday morning Dartt and his wife woke up to discover that his bike had been stolen off the back of their RV while they were sleeping.
“I was just devastated, I mean I just wanted to pack up and go back home and just forget about everything,” Dartt said.
But thanks to the support of those following his journey online, Dartt is back on the road again, and ready to finish the journey he set out to complete.
‘I wanted to give back’
Before this trip, Dartt said he was “far from a cyclist.” He came up with the idea of doing a trek across much of the country after he was diagnosed with a rare form of bile duct cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, last year.
“Instead of just sitting at home and crying about it — [which] I was doing for basically about three months after they had taken half my liver out — I decided I wanted to give back,” Dartt said.
Dartt set out with a goal of raising $30,000, to be split between the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a research fund for cholanguocarcinoma.
In recent weeks, Dartt said he’s felt himself losing a bit of strength, but he feels committed to continuing.
“When I went to see the Terry Fox memorial, it inspired me just so much. I did 125 km that day in the rain, and it was nothing compared to what [he] had done.”
The stolen bike delayed Dartt’s next portion of the journey by one day, but he is back on the road Friday morning, heading south from the Soo. He feels hopeful as he approaches the home stretch of his trip, but he said the loss of his bicycle “left a scar.”